7/24 Letters to the Editor

Contrasting opinions healthy for town

First of all, I would like to comment on the broader diversity of opinion that has been expressed in the letters to the editor section of your paper in the past year. Thank you. All Americans take very seriously the importance of a free press and the freedom to state their opinions without fear of censorship.

It is healthy for members of our communities to hear various points of view. It is healthier still to come together to find common ground with each other, rather than to attack and disrespect the letter writers.

As evidence of contrasting opinions, I cite two very different letters that were published recently. One was by Kirby Rowan (July 13) who strongly stated his objections to the policies of the current Bush administration in colorful and, to some, perhaps, objectionable language. It is his right to do so.

The second letter was a response to Rowan by James Jensen who responded by simply attacking Rowan, demeaning him personally and questioning his knowledge and credentials — that is, challenging his worthiness to express his opinion. Jensen never addressed any of the issues Rowan raised. Yet, it was his right to do so.

However, I believe that a stronger moral imperative is at issue: Once we have expressed our differing opinions, we have to remember that we all care about the same core values as Americans. Reasoned discourse and a return to some civility might result in uniting us rather than separating us further. As Rowan stated in his letter, “Community is about groups working in concert for mutual good.”

Elizabeth Ann Galligan

Melrose bombing range real asset in area

If we would stop trying to cross the Ts and dot the Is in the Base Realignment and Closure process, we would see that Melrose bombing range is now our only asset and Cannon is the liability.

We are spending thousands and thousands of our hard-earned dollars on committees, politicians and travel expenses and all for naught. Listen to what the Defense Department is saying: Because of limitation in funds and assets, the active Air Force cannot now, by itself, fulfill total world mission requirements. As with the Army, the Air Force has to rely more and more on the National Guard to accomplish mission requirements.

Folks, this is not rocket science. It is more cost effective to close the base and send the aircraft to the Air National Guard units.

Bear in mind, in order to have access to the greatest selection of civilian pilots, National Guard units must be located around large, congested civilian/ military installations — hence our main reason for keeping Cannon open is now our main liability.

On the other hand, Melrose bombing range could stand to gain considerable from the closing. Current air space restriction on the range because of Cannon would no longer apply. Approaches to the bombing range would now be unrestricted and could be made from all four compass points. Because of this additional capability, in conjunction with the increase in air space proposal currently pending approval, it would be reasonable to assume that subsequent range expansion would be undertaken.

With the closing of Cannon, management and control of the range could stay within the state.

Rudy Armenta